“It’s just another Manic Monday…I wish it was Sunday…That’s my fun day…” The Bangles sure hit the nail on the head with that one. When I got up super-early this morning, my first thought was “Why isn’t it Sunday?” But as the day wore on, there were no Monday Blues in sight. Although, I guess that happens when you can finally get back into a weightlifting routine! I even ran for a couple of minutes, which my body has missed so much.
The only thing my run was missing? A good playlist. Here’s hoping today is a soundtrack worthy of a sprint.
1. State of Shock – The Jacksons ft. Mick Jagger
Two icons in one go. The beat of this song is fantastic, and the contrast between Jackson and Jagger’s vocals seem to add to the track’s intrigue. I don’t really know how to explain it, but this is a decent song; it makes me want to dance around, anyway, and would fit quite nicely into my running soundtrack.
2. Private Dancer – Tina Turner
There is an age to Tina Turner’s vocals on this track, and when added to the depressing tone and subject of the song, it really does make you feel bad. Towards the end of the song, Turner’s vocal power comes back with a vengeance, showing that she’s still a powerhouse. However, it doesn’t take from the melancholy spirit of this narration, although the stunning electric guitar solo does add a flare to it.
3. Freedom – Wham!
After such a sad track before, I needed this classic. I love this song. My mom used to blast Wham! and George Michael albums, and I soon learned to either learn to love it or be forced to sit with earplugs. I decided to love it, and this may be one of the tracks I love best. This is childhood for me; my mom can sing the “doo-doo-doo-doo-doo” part perfectly. Despite singing about being in a relationship with someone that sounds like a complete jerk, this song manages to stay upbeat as George Michael pleads to stay together. It’s a great track; I love the line “Like a prisoner who has his own key, but I can’t escape until you love me…”
4. I Want You Back – Hoodoo Gurus
Now here is some upbeat, fun guitar playing! This is such a fun track. Sticking to the relationships theme, our hero pleads for his love to come back to him, but doesn’t do it to the instrumental of a ballad, but to a happy, entertaining tune. It’s refreshing. With a rock and roll edge, this almost comes off as pop-punk. I can’t help but wonder which came first…this or Bananarama’s track of the same name?
5. Sally Maclennanee – The Pogues
When this song first started, I froze. And then I laughed. More surprisingly, I danced. It’s not like I’ve never listened to The Pogues before, but I didn’t expect this. I just smiled throughout the whole song; this is such a catchy tune and even though it’s kind of a sad subject, there is nothing sad about this song; it is kind of a great funeral song (just saying). It reminds me of “Another Irish Drinking Song.”
6. Voices Carry – ‘Til Tuesday
Who doesn’t love a good girl-fronted band? Especially when the girl is behind the bass! I love this song. When it hits that chorus, there is something so great about it; I just want to play it on repeat. A tune about being in a relationship with someone who is domineering and only wants you when he can “keep you in line,” this is the perfect “screw you” type of song, and the video was perfection too.
7. The Sun Always Shines on TV – A-ha
At first, I wasn’t sure where this track was headed; a cliche` ballad pleading for love? Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the music gets amped up, and the vocals are much more powerful. While the desperation is still there, an edge also has a presence, and it makes a huge difference in the way the song comes across. However, the blending of the two moods does provide a nice contrast that also adds a sense of anticipation.
8. Into The Groove – Madonna
An 80’s staple, Madonna practically dominated the decade…pre-fake-British-accent. I dare say everyone has heard this song, and they either love it or hate it. I am kind of neutral about it. I think I’ve heard it enough that I don’t hate it, but it’s not my taste, so I don’t love it either. However, I will admit that the chorus is catchy and easy to sing along to.
9. Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) – Kate Bush
Kate Bush admitted that this would be a confusing track, as it actually had nothing to do with religion, which is understandable, apart from the fact that it’s Kate Bush. Why would she start singing about religion all of the sudden? The instrumental is a bit repetitive, but the vocals are good. May I also advise avoiding the video, as it will only further add to any confusion you might have.
10. West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys
Finally! I am so glad to see Pet Shop Boys on a playlist, it is unreal. “West End Girls” is another 80’s staple, with a nod to hip-hop and a synth pop style that didn’t grate on my nerves, I play this song on repeat. The chorus has a style to it that would be impossible to replicate.
Overall, this would transition into a decent running playlist (although “Private Dancer” may be a bit too dramatic and sad). The 80s seems to be pretty consistent. The good news is, throughout this whole challenge, I haven’t despised an entire playlist (…so far). Here’s hoping that continues.